Traveling Exhibition explores extraordinary science and technology during the Golden Age of the Islamic World | Traveling Exhibition explores extraordinary science and technology during the Golden Age of the Islamic World -
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Traveling Exhibition explores extraordinary science and technology during the Golden Age of the Islamic World

United Arab Emirates: Saturday, July 21 - 2007 @ 11:40

This important exhibition, developed by Cape Town and Dubai-based MTE Studios, will encourage visitors of all ages to discover and understand how a great civilization created prosperity across large areas from Spain to China. Knowledge was valued and innovation encouraged, leading to high levels of achievement in mathematics, science and technology.

“This exhibition’s alignment with our mission and its timeliness to provide a broader context to current global happenings, especially in the United States, make it a natural fit to be the first traveling exhibition in our newly renovated and expanded facility,” says Dr. Emlyn Koster, president and CEO.

MTE Studios CEO, Ludo Verheyen, said that the exhibition was conceptualized with the aim of creating an awareness and appreciation of Islamic contributions to modern day society. “The exhibition sends a powerful message about the way we evaluate history and the need to embrace multi-cultural knowledge,” said Verheyen.

Islamic Science Rediscovered focuses on nine disciplines that were greatly influenced by Muslim scholars, such as astronomy, engineering, exploration, flight, medicine, optics, water control, mathematics, art and architecture. Each area discusses the impact of Muslim scholarship and introduces historically relevant Muslim scientists and their contributions.

The Souk

After guests visit a re-created Souk, or Arabic market, as part of the introduction and orientation to the exhibition, they’ll discover these exciting experiences:

Pioneers of Flight

This area features a model of the flying machine successfully launched by Abbas Bin Firnas in 880 CE in Spain, along with an interactive aerodynamics display and an interactive kinetic model that simulates the movement of a bird’s wing.

Medical Inventions and Discoveries

Here guests will learn about the knowledge ancient Islamic physicians had of the human body. They can grip a pulse sensor to see their own heartbeats displayed against a backdrop of Ibn Nafi’s groundbreaking diagram of the human circulatory system dating to 1242 CE and examine replicas of his sophisticated surgical tools that are surprisingly similar to those in use today.

The World of Islamic Astronomy

The Islamic world excelled in astronomy. In fact, by the ninth century, all astronomers used one language – Arabic – to communicate, much as English is used by scientists around the world today. Guests can use a Quadrant to measure the angle between two stars; experiment with an Armillary Sphere to plot the relative movement of stars and planets; and use an Astrolab – essentially a hand-held computer that works in two dimensions – to figure out the time of day by measuring the height of a star above the horizon.

Mathematics, Art and Architecture

Islamic mathematicians devised complex mathematical formulas and developed geometric and trigonomical solutions to mysteries of astronomy, optics and engineering. Four hands-on exhibits will introduce guests to the patterns and principles of Arabic art and architecture in Design Arabic Ornaments and The Magic of Islamic Architecture.

The Foundation of Optical Science

The tenth century Muslim physician Al Haytham invented the pinhole camera, discovered how the eye works, studied eye disease, developed accurate theories about the laws of refraction — how light bends — and understood that light is made up of distinct colors, explaining the rainbow effect. Liberty Science Center guests can conduct various experiments at Al Haytham’s Optical Laboratory including those using convex and concave lenses, refraction, prisms and a pinhole camera.

Fine Technology and Invention

Using delicate mechanisms, Islamic master engineers developed automated devices ranging from practical items to clever inventions intended simply for amusement. Guests can explore hands-on activities about the four main principles used in these inventions to understand how they operated, then marvel at eight engaging displays including a working, four-foot tall recreation of Al-Jazari’s Elephant Clock, a kinetic sculpture with secret doors and musicians playing instruments that once stood over 20 feet tall, as well as the beautiful Scribe Clock. They can also enjoy recreations of “trick” devices that played a perpetual flute, dispensed water in regular intervals for hand washing and other amusements.

Applied Hydrology

As medieval Muslim cities grew into large urban centers, engineers were challenged to solve problems such as providing reliable water supplies. To do so, they created a variety of ingenious Water-Raising Machines by fashioning new kinds of components: pistons, wheels, cogs and crank shafts. Guests can see interactive models of five types of water-raising devices and try them out using their own energy instead of water.

Great Explorers

Muslim explorers and traders traveled over vast distances from China to Central Africa and guests may marvel at a four-foot model of a ship commanded by Chinese Muslim Admiral Zheng He in the 13th century. The ship was one of a fleet of 300, each a vast floating city with stables and vegetable gardens for extended journeys.

Visitors can also examine a copy of Zheng He’s magnetic compass then experiment with interactive activities including a “spoon” compass and a mariner’s compass.

The House of Wisdom

This vital institution of higher learning was founded in Baghdad in the ninth century and attracted an international cadre of scholars. In the Interactive Library, guests will learn about the main achievements of those associated with the House of Wisdom, such as the creation of algebra. They can even use a touch screen to prompt a virtual librarian to present them with virtual books on the history of the House of Wisdom.

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Saturday, July 21- 2007 @ 11:40 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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